The below Pre-Congress Tours are being organised via the QRA. These tours are bookable via the QRA website only. Click here for further information and the booking links.
The Nature and Timing of the ‘Younger Dryas’ Glaciation of Scotland
Date: 19th – 23rd July 2019
Leader: Dr Adrian Palmer & Professor John LoweContact email: email@example.com
Guide price: £570 (including accommodation and all other expenses, excluding all meals except for one night)
This four-day field trip will tour the southern, central and eastern Grampian Mountains, home of the West Highland icefield, the largest ice mass to develop in Scotland during the Loch Lomond (‘Younger Dryas’) Readvance (LLR). The drive will provide magnificent views while revealing the range of glacigenic landforms that allow the dynamics and limits of the former glaciers to be reconstructed. En route, key sites will be visited that provide secure ages for the timing of the maximal limits of the LLR glaciers. Day 1 will start on the southern shores of Loch Lomond, the type area for the LLR, where several lines of evidence allow the timing of events to be established quite precisely. From there, we will travel through the heart of the West Highlands, along the former ice shed of the LLR icefield, reaching the Rannoch Moor plateau, a major ice source region, followed by a descent through majestic Glen Coe. Day 2 will focus first on a suite of terminal glacial features near the mouth of Loch Etive, and then on the Main Rock Platform, a pronounced raised marine platform that is widely developed along the western seaboard of Scotland. Day 3 is devoted to the classic features of Glen Roy, famed for the ‘Parallel Roads’, distinctive shorelines marking the outlines of former ice-dammed lakes. Here we will illustrate how these shorelines and associated glaciolacustrine varves provide important isochrons for establishing a detailed sequence of events during the LLR. We will see landforms examined by Darwin and Agassiz in 1839-40, which proved pivotal in early debates concerning the controversial ‘Glacial Theory’. On Day 4 we will drive through the eastern Grampians, where the LLR landforms are starkly different to those previously visited, then examine lake sediments of Lateglacial age, and finally drive south, beyond the LLR ice limits, to view suites of glaciofluvial landforms deposited by the Late Devensian ice sheet, en route to our final destination in Glasgow.
The Quaternary Fluvial Archives of the Major English Rivers
Duration: 20th – 24th July 2019
Leaders: Dr Becky Briant, Prof David Bridgland, Dr Tom White
Contact emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Guide price: (including accommodation, all meals and all other expenses):
£705 single accommodation; £545 shared accommodation
The Quaternary fluvial record of England is remarkably rich in fossils and artefacts, providing a record of environmental change and human occupation over multiple glacial-interglacial cycles. This excursion will visit key fluvial sedimentary sequences, with biostratigraphical and Palaeolithic components emphasized. Section visits will be reinforced by displays of fossils and artefacts. Many of the localities are geoheritage sites, so there will be discussion of future management issues. Tourism is also woven into the trip, with stops in central London and Salisbury, a boat trip in Oxford and overnight stays in Stratford upon Avon.
Late Quaternary Landscape Evolution, Palaeoenvironments and Human Occupation in the North of Ireland
Date: 1st – 5th August 2019
Leader: Dr Helen Roe
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guide price: (including travel, lunches and entry fees, excluding accommodation in Belfast and evening meals) £245
Extending from the coastal lowlands of Strangford Lough, County Down, through the Lough Neagh basin and the scenic Antrim coast to the lakelands of County Fermanagh, this trip will include a wide variety of sites that will highlight the impacts of regional glaciation on the North of Ireland, the diverse character of landscape evolution during the late-glacial and Holocene, and evidence for human-landscape interactions since the Neolithic period. It will also include a number of peatland and lake sites that have been used to reconstruct mid to late Holocene climate change and to develop regional tephrostratigraphies. During the excursion there will be an opportunity to visit the Giant’s Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark where issues of geoheritage conservation and management will be explored. A tour of the Bushmills Distillery will be included. The base for the trip will be the city of Belfast where delegates wishing to stay for an optional fifth day can tour the award winning ‘Titanic Belfast’ or Ulster Museums.
Different Styles of Younger Dryas Glaciation in the Northwestern and Central Scottish Highlands
Date: 1st – 5th August 2019
Leader: Dr Sven Lukas
Contact email: S.Lukas@qmul.ac.uk
Guide price: TBA
This fieldtrip will visit mountainous locations in the Northwestern (Sutherland) and Central Highlands (Monadhliath, Gaick Plateau, Pass of Drumochter) as well as sites en route that will be of broad interest (Wester Ross, Torridon, Glen Roy). Themes centre on different styles of Younger Dryas glaciation (corrie glaciers, transection glacier complexes, plateau ice-caps) and include a diverse range of problems, such as the effects of topography on the style of glaciation, especially ice retreat, palaeoenvironmental records inside and outside glaciated sites, challenges of dating glacier fluctuations in Scotland using radiocarbon, cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) and optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, geomorphological contrasts between Younger Dryas and older phases of glaciation (e.g. Wester Ross Readvance, equivalent to the Heinrich 1 event, which will also be visited en route), processes of moraine formation and ice-mass-based palaeoclimate reconstruction. Travel arrangements will be made so that participants can easily arrange their own stay in Scotland after the trip or travel elsewhere in Europe.
The Quaternary of the Isles of Scilly
Date: 1st – 5th August 2019
Leader: James Scourse
Contact email: email@example.com
Guide price: (includes accommodation, transport, all meals and transport from Exeter airport)
£845.24 single accommodation; £759.64 shared accommodation
The Isles of Scilly have been recognised as a classic Pleistocene locality for some 50 years following a seminal paper by Frank Mitchell and Tony Orme who mapped a clear ice limit across the archipelago. The excursion will review the stratigraphic and morphological evidence for this ice limit and review the application of combined dating methods recently used to constrain its age within the context of the BRITICE-CHRONO project. Sequences of glacial, periglacial, littoral, aeolian and full glacial organic sediments will be examined in open coastal cliff sections. Scilly is also exceptional archaeologically, described as the “Isles of the Dead” based on the profusion of burial structures, and the excursion will visit Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and some more recent sites in the context of changing Holocene palaeoenvironments and relative sea level. The wealth of Quaternary geological and archaeological sites alongside great natural beauty – stunning beaches, crystal clear sea, benevolent climate with sub-tropical gardens – make Scilly a beguiling and enchanting place to visit for Quaternarists and accompanying participants alike. Please note that transport will be on foot on all days and will involve quite long treks over sometimes rough terrain; transport to off islands will be by boat taxi.